Time to Get Hard

To my liberal friends, and I’m not even sure I’m a liberal or a progressive. You (we) are known for our soft hearts and soft heads, well, on this one we need to get hard. Our Republican friends have counted on us to be compromising, nice, forgiving, but no more, not on this one. Jesus was not nice, he was hard and tough and he demanded  love and justice from his followers. He said, “If you don’t serve the poor and  the helpless, you do not know me” (Matthew 25).

Despite a Democratic President and Senate, Republicans have gotten their way on nearly every issue of public policy:

-low taxes on the rich and on corporations, with skyrocketing social inequality;

-a bloated military industrial complex, despite Eisenhower’s warnings against this;

-a preemptive war policy that encourages and exercises forms of assassination overseas;

-a Supreme Court ruling, Citizen’s United that allows the rich to buy their politicians;

-the swamping of our streets with guns, despite massive public polling against it;

-the stalling of all sane immigration reform, creating a hopeless and helpless underclass;

-the destruction of unions, and the undercutting of working person’s wages;

-the slashing of school funding, and enslavement of our young people to debt;

-a gap between the rich and poor that has now reached the level of the Great Depression;

-the erosion of even the belief that climate change is happening;

-a permanent prison industrial complex, jailing one third of African American males;

-a war on drugs, that really is a war on the poor;

-an insurance system that leaves 50 million people high and dry, with medical bills as the highest cause of bankruptcy.

I could go on and on. They will stop at nothing and they depend on our softness and our apathy. Time to stand up folks. Nice, liberal, soft hearted types, time to stand up and get hard. Demand no more compromise with the Republican House of Representatives–a group that the arch conservative New York Republican congressmen called “terrorists.” No, not my language, one of their own said this about these folks. Time to get hard folks. Andrew Sullivan, a sane conservative, calls the Republican Party the Party of Nullification–this is a must read.

Some might say, “Well, aren’t you being too harsh.” I say no. I think that liberals, progressives, small c conservatives, people who love family, love America, who want freedom, who want to raise children that have a chance in life, people who stay with their families and support their kids, who want a fair society, a society that is equal and vital, that want a strong civic life, that believe in good stewardship of the creation, that stand for strong schools for all kids no matter their color or class, that want politicians that are not millionaires, that want a financial system that is not too big to fail, that want a government responsive to the majority, that want a society that reflects a modicum of justice toward minorities, that seek a governmental system that is not corrupted by money, that want to walk their cities and be in their schools without fear of being shot, that want a defensive military that sees no need to “go overseas in search of monsters,” that want political races not stuffed with money…. these kind of solid, small c folks, and liberal lovers of humanity, they want this madness to stop. It is time for the liberal, middle of the road, independent types to stand up to this madness, to get hard and say no, before it really is too late.

In the end, let’s be careful folks, democratic governance is not guaranteed. It could disappear. We should be afraid. The Republicans are depending on our kindness, softness and apathy. NO more. Say NO MORE.

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  • texcee

    Bravo!

  • Lars

    I’m with you all the way. If this works, we’ll never see the end of this sort of tactic.

  • Sarah K

    Wow. I’m leaving Catholicism (and my mother) and looking for a new religion that fits me. To have this article on the main page… I think I just found home. And that feels great.

    That said… how do I find a church like this near me? “Progressive” isn’t an option in the search.

    • https://www.facebook.com/JamesKWellman James Wellman

      Well, not much I can say, I follow Jesus, he says serve the poor or you don’t know me, Catholics, under Francis may indeed be getting back to this idea. No church is perfect, trying to find one is pointless, I think.

      • Sarah K

        I hope they are. I sincerely hope that Francis will have at least as much impact as Benedict did on the Church but also on its individual people. I know no church is perfect, but when the leaders of the Church go after the nuns for letting their social justice work “get in the way” of doctrine, that’s a problem for me. :-( (Among other things.) I see Francis leading the way I think Jesus would, and I have high hopes for that, but I think that sort of magnitude of change will be very slow in coming.

    • jenny

      If you still like liturgical worship, you might try an Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, or United Church of Christ church.

      • Sarah K

        I do! Thanks for the suggestions.

  • John Barba

    goofy tired old rhetoric – Obama care was not a negotiation, it was completely one sided in its inception and includes “care” contrary to life. It has been used as a blunt stick on the Church, check out the newest class action by the little sisters of the poor. The republicans latest offer is just asking for a delay, nothing Obama hasn’t already given to BIG BUSINESS. It is the take no prisoner attitude that got us in this situation.

    • https://www.facebook.com/JamesKWellman James Wellman

      Goofy, yep, that’s right, what the Republican Party has given us (because of the cowardice of Democrats) is deeply goofy, and what’s a bigger shame, is that Christians go along with, getting the rich wealthy, telling the poor to work harder, and arming everyone, that is truly goofy.

      • https://www.facebook.com/JamesKWellman James Wellman

        What’s even goofier is middle of the road Christians do nothing and say nothing as all this happens, and people think its the same old same old. That is truly goofy.

        • John Barba

          Some of us can tell that fruit from a poisoned tree is probably poison. The health care bill in its present form is a political tool. If the Dems were serious about health care they could take out the abortion, and birth control mandates making the bill more acceptable to everyone. Instead they hold fast to a far left Margret Sanger philosophy of the best way to end poverty is by reducing the populations of poor and minorities. The ruling social architects are less concerned about the people than they are about power. Ask yourself who has consistently cared for the poor and the sick, first, foremost and always, the Church. So why kick the Church in the gut by insisting on untenable demands contrary to the beliefs held by most of the faithful. The current standoff is the result of a total unwillingness of the far left to negotiate before, during or after a Gov. shutdown. Where are the politicians willing to put the good of the people first.

          • https://www.facebook.com/JamesKWellman James Wellman

            I’m not far left. You have a fantasy that everyone on the other side is far left. No, I’m a church going, family guy, in tact family, two Christian daughters, hetereosexual, who goes to church, leads a youth group, believes in Jesus and simply argues that the state has to do the job of medical care, because we are talking about 50 million people–you expect the church to do medical care of these folks, how goofy is that? You also TOTALLY ignore the injustice of Republican economics that has created the greatest social inequality since the GREAT DEPRESSION. This is the fact based world my friend, no goofiness here. The ACA, as another responder said, IS a Republican idea, a compromise, something most Democrats despises, we are the ones who compromised over and over again!

          • https://www.facebook.com/JamesKWellman James Wellman

            AND I’m not socialist and ACA is NOT a socialist medical plan, it’s market based just Romney care in Massachusetts.

    • Sven2547

      The fact that the ACA isn’t single-payer means the whole thing was a compromise from the get-go. It was modeled almost entirely on Republican proposals made over the last few decades. If President John McCain had passed it, the GOP would have championed it. Of course, that didn’t happen, so they have opted for full-bore obstructionism.

      Tell me: what would you replace the ACA with? The status quo, circa 2008?

      • John Barba

        How about fixing it? How about some compromise? How about applying real moral values to promote human wellness? What happened to “do no harm”? Negotiation is the key to fixing ACA

        • Sven2547

          How about fixing it?

          That’s my question to you: what would you “fix”?

          How about some compromise?

          As I already pointed out, the whole bill is a great big compromise. It was debated and drafted and re-drafted and re-debated over and over until a compromise-ridden bill was passed several years ago. I fail to understand how someone can come along today and go “Where’s the compromise?” It’s all there!

          How about applying real moral values to promote human wellness? What happened to “do no harm”?

          Examples? I, for one, think offering subsidized, competitive insurance exchanges for people who need them is an excellent way to promote human wellness.

          It’s easy to sit back and be a critic, but I never hear these critics offer particular suggestions other than ‘you’re doing it wrong’.

          • John Barba

            1st suggestion – make a health care program about health. Promoting health , extending life, creating a better quality of life, relieve suffering. Take out anything contrary to health and the bill would be more acceptable to those of us who value all human life. No abortions – No euthanasia – No birth control.

  • Al Cruise

    Finally someone having the guts to tell the truth.

    • https://www.facebook.com/JamesKWellman James Wellman

      Thanks.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Dear Dr. Wellman,

    I like this

    “Jesus was not nice, he was hard and tough and he demanded love and
    justice from his followers. He said, “If you don’t serve the poor and
    the helpless, you do not know me” (Matthew 25).”

    and believe we should also radically reject egregious theological beliefs:

    https://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/thom-stark-on-blasphemy-for-gods-sake/

    I am a (Germanic) French socialist and I feel really dumbstruck by the facts you mentioned.
    The war on drugs is a real moral atrocity.
    Believing we have the right to wage war on a country which did not attack us is morally reprehensible.

    And words fail me when I think that in order NOT to allow parents from poor and rich children to receive the same treatment, the Republicans launched this shut-down.

    However when I discuss about this with (Christian) conservatives, they tell me that I, as an outsider, don’t understand anything at all about American politic.

    They tell me that the healthcare system is already just and need very few improvements and that the democrats wold ruin the economy of the country if this law were to pass.

    Do you know well documented cases of poor children having horribly suffered due to the present healthcare system?

    Many thanks in advance!

    Lovely greetings, Marc.


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